Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Marked by meekness or modesty in behavior, attitude, or spirit; not arrogant or prideful.
  • adjective Showing deferential or submissive respect.
  • adjective Low in rank, quality, or station; unpretentious or lowly.
  • transitive verb To cause to feel humble.
  • transitive verb To cause to have a lower condition or status; abase.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Lowly in kind, state, condition, amount, etc.; of little worth or moment; unimportant; low; common: as, a humble cottage; a man of humble origin; a humble follower; my humble means.
  • Lowly in manner or guise; modest; unpretending; submissive: as, a humble apology.
  • Lowly in feeling; lacking self-esteem; having a sense of insignificance, unworthiness, dependence, or sinfulness; meek; penitent.
  • To break; make sore.
  • To break off the ears of (barley) with a flail; separate from the awns.
  • To break off the horns of.
  • To make lower; bring down; bow down.
  • To make lower in state or condition; reduce in power, possessions, esteem, etc.; abase: as, to humble one's foes; to humble the pride of a rival.
  • To make humble or lowly in feeling; bring down the pride or vanity of; make meek and submissive; humiliate: often used reflexively.
  • Synonyms Debase, Degrade, etc. See abase.
  • To hum.
  • Broken; bruised; sore.
  • Having no horns, as a cow.
  • Pertaining to a humble cow.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Scot. Hornless. See hummel.
  • transitive verb To bring low; to reduce the power, independence, or exaltation of; to lower; to abase; to humilate.
  • transitive verb To make humble or lowly in mind; to abase the pride or arrogance of; to reduce the self-sufficiently of; to make meek and submissive; -- often used rexlexively.
  • adjective Near the ground; not high or lofty; not pretentious or magnificent; unpretending; unassuming.
  • adjective Thinking lowly of one's self; claiming little for one's self; not proud, arrogant, or assuming; thinking one's self ill-deserving or unworthy, when judged by the demands of God; lowly; waek; modest.
  • adjective (Bot.) a species of sensitive plant, of the genus Mimosa (Mimosa sensitiva).
  • adjective to endure mortification; to submit or apologize abjectly; to yield passively to insult or humilitation; -- a phrase derived from a pie made of the entrails or humbles of a deer, which was formerly served to servants and retainers at a hunting feast. See Humbles.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Near the ground; not high or lofty; not pretentious or magnificent; unpretending; unassuming; as, a humble cottage.
  • adjective Thinking lowly of one's self; claiming little for one's self; not proud, arrogant, or assuming; lowly; weak; modest.
  • verb To bring low; to reduce the power, independence, or exaltation of; to lower; to abase; to humiliate.
  • verb To make humble or lowly in mind; to abase the pride or arrogance of; to reduce the self-sufficiency of; to make meek and submissive; -- often used reflexively.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb cause to feel shame; hurt the pride of
  • adjective low or inferior in station or quality
  • adjective used of unskilled work (especially domestic work)
  • adjective of low birth or station (`base' is archaic in this sense)
  • verb cause to be unpretentious
  • adjective marked by meekness or modesty; not arrogant or prideful

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin humilis, low, lowly, from humus, ground; see dhghem- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French (h)umble, from Latin humilis ("low, slight, hence mean, humble") (compare Greek χαμαλός (khamalos, "on the ground, low, trifling")), from humus ("the earth, ground"), humi ("on the ground"). See homage, and compare chameleon, humiliate.

Examples

Comments

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  • I would like to quote two recent uses of humble/humbled. Appearing before a House of Commons committee lately, Rupert Murdoch said that this was the most humble day of his life. On April 10th, 2013, Sir Mark Thatcher said that his mother would have felt humbled by the Queen's attending her funeral, which was due to take place a few days later.

    April 10, 2013